Entries by Dori Mages

Inclusion: How to Make it Work

What is Inclusion? Inclusion has been a common school term for decades.  It is a philosophy and strategy in which students with special needs spend most or all of their time with non-disabled peers, rather than being educated in separate classrooms or schools. When students are part of a full inclusion program, they receive additional […]

Cell Phones: When Should Your Child Get One?

Now that my oldest child is eleven, a “tween”, the subject of getting a cell phone is slowly creeping into conversations in our home. She insists that she needs a cell phone because she will be walking to junior high school next year. When does a child NEED a cell phone? Well, in my day… […]

iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch Apps to Teach Kids Social Skills

As a licensed clinical social worker, I have worked with hundreds of kids and teenagers since 1994. For many, social skills do not simply come naturally; they need to be taught, just as they need to be taught spelling, reading, mathematics, social studies, and science. Kids with ADHD, learning disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders often […]

Stranger Danger: Teaching Your Children to be Safe

Teaching children about “stranger danger” is about teaching the possible dangers they may face as they are out in the world. But, this is not as simple as saying, “Don’t talk to strangers.” I tell children that it is safe to talk to strangers when they are with a grownup they know (such as when […]

Bullying: How To Know It’s Happening And What To Do About It

Name Calling Just As Harmful as Physical Abuse We all can probably name the “school bully” (or bullies) from our childhood. Bullying is not a new challenge for children, but it should not be dismissed as simply a part of growing up. Bullying is a serious issue of abuse that can be emotional, verbal, physical, […]

Day Camp and Overnight Camp: Survival Guide for Parents and Campers

It’s summertime: warm weather, freedom from homework, and great summer camp experiences. Camp is an amazing opportunity for kids to learn independence and responsibility. When we go to “family camp” in the Wisconsin Dells each year, my husband and I challenge our kids and say that camp is about trying new things, even if they […]